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Introduction

The subject I am researching is students athletes not getting the same opportunity as others students and also not getting compensation after bringing in millions of dollars in revenue for their school. The question I am researching is: What happens when revenue-producing student athletes, who tend to differ racially from the rest of the students, are made to represent the university without compensation? These student-athletes bring the school thousands, sometimes millions of dollars, so why are they still not being paid like every other working citizen.

These athletes are more than just a student in their college, but a revenue generating employee that is generating zero compensation. As a student athlete the dail requirements that are placed upon them include lifting early morning weights, practice, travel, games and many other duties that often make it difficult for them to focus on their academics alone. Where as many other students have an opportunity and have the ability to only focus on their academics and possibly have part time job to earn income. Many will argue that as a student athlete that they are paid because of their athletic scholarship, but what many people do not understand is that not all athletes are on athletic scholarship and those on athletic scholarship are not receiving money in their pocket for everyday spending. Besides not being compensated fairly, they aren’t even getting the degree they want and some do not even graduate after their time in school. The African Americans are struggling in these predominantly white institutions, they are the main participants in their colleges athletic programs, but they are not treated or compensated fairly. Some of these struggles are a socio historical examination of Black athletes’ experiences at predominantly White colleges and connect these experiences with the broader social issues facing Blacks in the United States.

Since African Americans athletes are not paid, black athletes were more likely than others to think they deserve the same benefits as other workers. Which includes a study of college athletes views concerning amateurism. Also the rules that the NCAA has for amateurism. Using a multiple method is very beneficial, one is because you can use two methods and get the best results. You can do interviews and surveys and see how people respond, it also allows for you to get more people to help you with your research paper and everything that you need for your research paper.

Background/Literature Review

(5 pages – 32 points)

Review of your six (minimum) empirical studies. The information will be drawn from your previous assignments/feedback, but you will describe only the relevant points from each article to include in your literature review. Again, do not just summarize the articles; write only about what matters (themes, issues, or problems) for your proposed

Research

When looking at the studies you can tell they are all trying to answer the same question: What happens when revenue-producing student athletes, who tend to differ racially from the rest of the students, are made to represent the university without compensation? Professor Sack of University of New Haven addresses “Improper Benefits” really improper? Which was a study of college athletes views concerning amateurism. The theme Professor Sack addresses is that African Americans most likely live in poverty, and sports have been their avenue for financial success and they don’t even know about amateurism. The main issue that Sack tries to address is that African Americans are living in poverty, while bringing in millions for the school and they get no type of compensation. To prove it was a issue he took a survey to see if they would take money under the table to help provide for their family and themselves. He found that 60% of African Americans didn’t have a problem taking money under the table. From his findings he believes that students athletes should get some type of compensation.

Another study done by multiple authors believed African Americans are not treated correctly and are used for revenue producing without playing them, but think getting them academics when they aren’t even the greatest students is sufficient. The authors see many issues and the main issues they have is that this athletes are getting compensation in “education” but when looking at the arcademics they found White students graduate more than African-American student athletes. They believe this because they have less academic access, they found that student athletes have an 18% graduation gap difference than other students and they are bringing revenue into the school with no compensation.

Professor Sack of University of New Haven did another study about student athletes this time, the purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which college athletes violate NCAA rules regarding amateurism. The issues that he addresses is that student athletes are bringing in tons of revenue for this schools and not getting any compensation. To him this is a issue, so he did a survey that addressed if athletes every took extra benefits or improper benefits. Sack likes to use the theme of amateurism and compensation for student athletes.

John Singer address and discusses the perspectives for African American Football athletes. The sport programs, governed by the NCAA, have media visibility, multimillion dollar sponsorship contracts with major corporations. They also have large annual budgets, and the most competitive and costly football and men’s basketball programs. Especially for an incoming freshman, most who are from racial minority groups. The issues that John Singer has is that African American and lower class athletes are not getting paid for bringing in millions of dollars. This creates the issue of them taking money under the table like Singer predicts will happen. Blacks, males, lower class athletes, and those whose financial aid based on athletic ability were nearly twice as likely to accept money under the table.

For these study the author takes a completely different look in player compensation and student athlete privileges. He looks at the issue of student athletes specifically African Americans having social issues in predominantly white institutions. The author believes the issue is academic neglect from these predominantly white institutions. They aren’t getting the help they need and that they deserve especially after bringing in millions and billions of dollars in revenue for these colleges.

The last study brings the same approach and more the author believes there is multiple issues with intercollegiate athletics these consist of: commercialization, university involvement in the entertainment industry, damage to the integrity of higher education, exploitation of athletes, and harm to nonathletes. They also see that student athletes get in trouble with sexual harassment and things of that sort.

For each study, cover the following in about one-two paragraphs: What research questions or hypotheses did the researchers study? (Identify article by author and (date) of study.)

BRIEFLY describe: the theoretical paradigm/theory, research methods used, characteristics of the sample, main findings and conclusions (as they relate to their main research questions or hypotheses), and your critique (strengths and limitations of each study). Focus on the themes/issues you have stated in the introduction. Notice this is a significantly shortened presentation revised from Assignments 2/3 which will focus only on the information relevant to the design of your proposed research.

The research question being studied is “Improper Benefits” really improper? which was researched and written by Allen L. Sack in 1998. He was basically doing a survey to see if student athletes found it acceptable to take money under the table. Sack had two main hypothesis which consisted of “The first is that athletes from lower socio-economic backgrounds will be least likely to recognize the moral legitimacy of the NCAA’s amateur code.” (Sack 2) and “The second hypothesis is that black athletes, given their status as the poorest of the poor, are likely to find amateurism to be a particularly exploitative concept. (Sack 3)” This study is based on a secondary analysis of data drawn from a national survey of college basketball players taken by the Federally funded Center for Athletes’ Rights and Education. The sample was not random, but they made sure to include male and female basketball players from each NCAA Division. The final sample size was 644. Some 45% of the athletes were from NCAA Division I schools, 30% were from Division II, and 25%, or 175 respondents, were from Division III. Respondents Represented 47 Schools And 35 Conferences. There were 60% male and 40% female. 43% of the athletes in the sample saw nothing wrong with accepting money under the table for things such as traveling and living expenses. Blacks, males, lower class athletes, and those whose financial aid based on athletic ability were nearly twice as likely as others to view illegal payments as acceptable. “The fact that 61% of blacks, 55% of males, 55% of lower class athletes, and 51% of athletes on scholarship had little regard for this important fact of the NCAA’s amateur code may help to explain”. (Sack 5) They found African Americans were more likely to take money under the table and the main reason was because of their backgrounds and where they come from. African American athletes coming from a lower socioeconomic status were using their scholarships to gain access to a luxoru that would never be open to them without sports. These athletes were working for everything they were given and still it was not enough to support them in their lives outside of sports.

Richard M. Southall, E. Woodrow, Eckard Mark S. Nagel, and Morgan H. Randall all contributed to a study in 2015 about Athletic Success and NCAA Profit- Athletes’ Adjusted Graduation Gap. This study used multiple models to examine the relationship between athletic success and profit athletes graduation rates. “we examine the hypothesis that athletes at more highly ranked schools (reactive of an emphasis on winning) graduate at lower rates (i.e., these schools accept a trade-off between athletic performance and academic performance).” (SSJ 397) The samples include all schools with reported graduation rates and Sagarin ratings for all six years of each cohort. For both sports the sample size increases slightly from the 2004 cohort to the 2005 cohort, from 310 to 319 for basketball and from 209 to 211 for football. The results were the basketball sample has significantly more, with roughly 32% private compared to about 19% for football. “Recall that the hypothesis here was that Black players are more vulnerable to pressures from athletic-department and athletic-academic support staff to sacrifice academic success for athletic success.” (SSJ 405) When looking at the study there was a lot of strength to it when looking at the results and the amount of people and effort they put into. It has the graduation rates from tons of different sports and institutions.

Professor Sack of University of New Haven did another study and this time he talked about The Underground Economy of Football, which was written in 1991. The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which college athletes violate NCAA rules regarding amateurism. Sack believed student athletes were not getting compensation for bringing in ridiculous amounts of revenue and in result, student athletes would break the amateur code which is accepting money. “Violations of amateur rules continued unabated for the next several decades. In 1952 the NCAA changed its rules to allow athletes to receive financial compensation based on their athletic ability.” (Sack 2) He wanted to see how many people broke the code or took money under the table so he took a survey, the method of data collection was a mailed questionnaire. The sampling frame provided by the NFLPA included two types of athletes. Some 1,700 surveys were mailed to current members of NFL teams. Another 1,800 were sent to a list of retired players. They found out that 83% of Southeast Conference athletes whose classes graduated between 1970 and 1988 said they knew players on their teams who were taking money. Also that 31% of the NFL players in the sample admitted to accepting improper benefits while they were in college. This study was pretty strong to me because it’s not easy to get people to admit or even answer about something that’s illegal.

African American Football Athletes’ Perspectives on Institutional Integrity in College Sport was written by John N. Singer in 2013. John Singer address and discusses the perspectives for African American Football athletes. The sport programs, monitored by the NCAA, have a lot of media visibility, multimillion dollar sponsorship contracts with major corporations. They also have large annual budgets, and the most competitive and costly football and men’s basketball programs. They came up with an 10-week academic program designed to promote success in higher education, and the end goal of graduation. This study was conducted at a large university in the midwestern U.S. Purposeful sampling was used to select the African American football athletes who participated in this study. The final sample consisted of 4 African American football athletes 2 juniors, 1 sophomore, and 1 freshman who played the running back, wide receiver, or defensive back positions. They majored in communications or education/early childhood development and maintained good academic standing. The sample size was 4 student athletes two came from single parent homes and the other two came from two-parent homes. It took place on campus on in a conference room, these interviews took place at the academic support center for student athletes lasted between 1 to 2 hr. This study was guided by a case study approach, involving “systematically gathering enough information about a particular person, social setting, event, or group to permit the researcher to effectively understand how it operates or functions” athletes and to discuss some issues that face them. They believe you should encourage African American athletes to participate in research studies, workshops, panel discussions, and university and college courses that deal with some of the historical and contemporary issues and problems in college sport. These was a strong study and it was done at one of the biggest football schools in the NCAA. They had strong results and conducted the interviews very well. It was helpful to them to know African Americans aren’t getting the help that they need.

Robert D. Benford did a study on The College Sports Reform Movement: Reframing the “Edutainment” Industry in 2016. “The faculty driven wing of the social movement has identified several problems with intercollegiate athletics these consist of: commercialization, university involvement in the entertainment industry, damage to the integrity of higher education, exploitation of athletes, and harm to nonathletes.” (Benford 1) The study is talking about African Americans in academics and trying to get better education. The research was out to observe and generate theory. They look at the deeper aspects how the NCAA makes its money which is through: endorsements, products, events, and selling brand names. By making replica jerseys, posters, and video games. They used conducted semi structured, formal interviews with 12 sports reformers as well as several others in informal conversational interviews. “Participated in and recorded two discussion sessions on college sports reform at the 2005 North American Society for the Sociology of Sport conference in Winston-Salem in 2005.” (Benford 5) Also conducted topical content analyses of various newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and Websites related to college sports reform. This was another strong study that used multiple sources and covered many different subjects.

The last study was about Personal Troubles and Public Issues: A Sociological Imagination of Black Athletes’ Experiences at Predominantly White Institutions in the United States and was studied and written by Joseph N. Cooper in 2012. The paper provides a socio historical examination of Black athletes’ experiences at predominantly white colleges and connect these experiences with the broader social issues facing Blacks in the United States. They are out to generate a theory about African Americans. A major issue facing both Blacks in the broader US and Black athletes at predominately white institutions is the experiences with racial discrimination and social isolation. The second common theme present in both the literature on Blacks in the US as well as Black athletes at predominately white institutions is the shared experience with academic neglect. They were observed in everyday society. This paper provides a socio-historical context for examining the relationship between the personal troubles of Black athletes at PWIs and the public issues facing Blacks throughout US history. The conclusions are appropriate and the black athletes need help to be socially grounded. The study was strong and they are to help black athletes in PWI’s.

SYNTHESIS – putting it all together.

  1. Compare and contrast the theories and findings in the various studies, and how they went about contributing explanations about your topic. How are the studies similar/different? What are the unique qualitative and quantitative contributions. Taking all (six) of the articles together, what do you now know overall about your research topic, and what gaps in existing knowledge still remain?
  2. In the last paragraph of the literature review, specify the research questions/hypotheses to be analyzed in your paper based on the findings of your literature review and your thoughts on your topic.

When looking at the theories and the findings you can see that they are some similarities and some differences. When comparing all the articles and studies you can see one common which is to help student athletes mainly African Americans.

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